How to Begin

All candidates and committees who receive or spend money other than the filing fee must designate a treasurer to handle campaign related funds and expenses and to file the required reports. By law, a candidate must act as treasurer if he/she does not designate another individual to do so. The Designation of Treasurer form must be filed before any contributions are accepted or any expenditures are made. A new Designation of Treasurer form must be filed whenever a new treasurer is appointed, or the address of the treasurer, deputy treasurer, or candidate changes.

Candidates will receive a Notice to File by mail at least ten days prior to all finance report due dates.
An election period is the period beginning when the candidate files his or her candidacy petition through election day.

 General information 

  • A contributor, including the candidate, may not give more than $100 per election in cash to any one candidate.
  • Candidate s fore certain offices may file a waiver which eliminates the requirement to file financial reports.  See form 31-BB for requirements.
  • Copies of paid receipts or cancelled checks for all expenditures of $25 or more must be filed with the finance report. If cancelled checks or receipts are not available at the time of the filing, this must be noted on the report and the copies must be filed as soon as they are available. 
  • Money may not be placed in a candidate’s personal or business account. 

Authority and Penalties

The Ohio Elections Commission has the authority from the Ohio General Assembly to directly impose fines for violations of the campaign finance laws, specifically R.C.  3517.08  -  3517.13  and the law requiring identification of political communications (disclaimers) found in R.C.  3599.09  . It may also investigate violations of the laws regarding unfair campaign practices specified in R.C.  3517.21  -  3517.22  . Violations and their associated penalties may be found on the Secretary of State’s website .